Karis Oh’s The Moment is a simple anecdote told in an enthralling monologue which ties the short together and engages from the first pitch-black frame. The retelling of a brief encounter transcends its premise by excelling in all areas.

Content and form are aptly married throughout, including credits stylised as rough sketching and a distinctive painterly animation style that reflects the protagonist’s vocation. Her assertions about the implications of detail in drawing are respected in The Moment’s own animation. Oh creates flickering, lively irises and continually shifting strips of colour that suggest the movement of hair in the wind. Thanks to her perceptive eye, the aesthetic is paradoxically, self-consciously hand-drawn and yet also realistic. This skill for depicting nuanced observations also results in the film capturing mundane movements such as the male character scratching his arm, and these are utilised to signify the passage of time as the girl draws.

The themes of the overarching monologue are also impeccably exploited, taking the already beautiful visuals to a more surreal and meaningful level as the film deconstructs and reconstructs its own setting.

Ultimately, the mild twist is a little predictable, yet satisfyingly so. It sheds a new light on details that have come before, and entices you to a second viewing in which all of the artistic choices can be enjoyed knowingly.

The Moment is crammed with tiny, lifelike details, such as a shadow receding down a wall as the sun sinks or clouds drifting across a hazy sky in what is recognisably New York City. Gidron’s soundscape is just as detailed, perhaps reflecting the heightened experience of the male character. Although the majority of the film takes place at a single table in a square, the plethora of ambient noises conveys the bustle of the city around the two characters.

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INFORMATION

CAST: Karis Oh, Stephen Knight

DIRECTOR: Karis Oh

WRITER: Karis Oh

ANIMATOR: Karis Oh

SOUND DESIGN: Assaf Gidron

SYNOPSIS: An artist learns about the importance of the things unseen as she draws a stranger’s portrait.